Are Flavoured Vaping Juices Bad For You And Should They Be Banned?

A ban on flavoured vaping products would reduce the number of young people using e-cigarettes, suggested Donald Trump.

The health implications of vaping – specifically flavoured vapes – have come into the spotlight this week, after multiple stories emerged of teens becoming severely ill.

One teen from California believes she “nearly died” because of her habit of vaping every 15 minutes. Simah Herman, 18, vaped for two-and-a-half years and ended up in a medical coma when her lungs failed.

She is now urging others not to vape.

Meanwhile Adam Hergenreder, 18, from Illinois, was struck down with a lung illness 18 months after he started vaping. He believes the two are linked. He told CNN: “It was scary to think about that – that little device did that to my lungs.”

It is not known whether the teenagers’ vaping habits directly caused these hospitalisations – and what other factors may have contributed.

The teens were fans of a mango-flavoured vaping liquid. The health implications of sweeter flavours have previously been called into question after a study found they contain higher levels of chemicals linked to severe lung disease.

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In the US, health officials are investigating 450 cases of vaping-related lung illness across 33 states.

A survey of UK teens aged 11 to 18 years old revealed 11.7% had tried e-cigarettes once or twice. Of these, 57.2% said it was because they wanted to give it a try, while 16.1% said they liked the flavours.

Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump said he believed a ban on flavoured vaping products would reduce the number of young people using e-cigarettes. Should the UK follow suit?

Public Health England (PHE) said doing this in the UK would just drive people back to smoking. The public health body said the flavours helped smokers switch from more dangerous tobacco. Martin Dockrell, head of tobacco control at PHE, said it plans to publish a comprehensive evidence review on the safety of e-cigarettes early next year.

In a statement given to PA Media, he said: “E-cigarette flavours are an important advantage that vapes have over smoking and play an important part in encouraging smokers to switch. Similar choice of flavours exist in the US and UK and yet we do not have the same levels of youth vaping here.”

Dockrell suggested the lower rates of uptake of vaping in the UK are due to stricter advertising regulations and possibly the lower nicotine cap.

Dan Marchant, UK Vaping Industry Association board member, said: “It is a shame that the US president has been poorly advised on the facts; this decision is based on misleading information and will only serve to deter smokers from making a life-changing switch to a far less harmful alternative.

“We will continue to work with the public health community in the UK to spread the facts about vaping, which Public Health England continue to advise is 95% less harmful than smoking and is the most effective way for the UK’s remaining seven million smokers to quit.”

However, professor John Newton, director for health improvement at PHE, warned people who don’t smoke to avoid vaping.

He added: “If you smoke, there is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping,” he said. “The sooner you stop smoking completely the better.”

Data published by PHE in February showed that while overall use of e-cigarettes among young people remains low, the number who have tried it has almost doubled in four years.